Category Archives: Duke Basketball

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Duke vs N.C. State III

fdd4fb9c-180d-445f-b705-740c22ac3cb1The Duke Blue Devils will take on the N.C. State Wolfpack tomorrow for the third time this season in their opening game of the ACC Tournament.  Duke is just 2-3 in their last five games and most recently announced that no help would be coming in the way of Amile Jefferson who'll seek a medical redshirt. Duke is also coming off an emotional loss to North Carolina in a game that despite being out rebounded in a monster number stayed in the game until the very end.

By losing their last outing, Duke found itself without their usual double bye.  That means to win the tournament it would take four wins in as many days.  With their depth issues, that is pretty much an impossible task.  Even if they get past the Wolfpack, they would face a Notre Dame program that has played them better than anybody of late.  And a win there would put a weary legged bunch likely facing a much deeper North Carolina squad again.

But it's likely that Mike Krzyzewski is not too worried about anything other than beating N,C. State for a third time which is a difficult task.  The Pack had little trouble defeating Wake Forest and they are especially dangerous in that a win gives them a winning record and keeps post season hopes alive -- even if that tournament is the NIT.  In short, Duke will get their best shot.

It all starts with Anthony Barber for the Wolfies, but they've more than that of late due to X-Factor Maverick Rowan.  It will be yet another match up between the ACC' top two scorers or in short Barber-Allen 3.  Each of the aforementioned  players won ACC honors this past week and both will likely bring their A game.  In fact, Grayson Allen has been tabbed a 2nd Team All American by some services.

In their last outing, Grayson Allen may have actually tried to do too much.  While he led his team in scoring and assists, no easy feat, he may have tried to put the team on his shoulders.  When you're Duke this season and have pretty much a six man rotation, no player can have an off night and especially, say, two.  The Blue Devils will have to click on all cylinders in that it's the nature of the beast with this years team.  Simply put, Duke is not going to blow anybody out but when they click, they're pretty darn good and capable of doing some good things.

It's no secret that people are wondering how Duke will respond after their last outing.  Some analysts go as far as to say it is best to lose early in Washington, then rest and prep for the NCAA Tournament.  I'm not sure if I buy into that for you never know what might happen in a tournament.  Besides, Duke could benefit with their eventual seeding with a win or two.

So where does that leave us with concern to tomorrows match up? It will be a hard-fought game with two determined teams from where i am seated.  Duke will seek the usual winning formula, that being get to the free throw stripe, knock down threes and put your self in position to win at games end.

The Wolfpack will try and establish their inside game and as always Marshall Plumlee has to stay out of foul trouble.  If by some chance Duke gets a good working margin, it would not hurt to go seven deep in the bench to save some legs for the next game.  However, there is no guarantee that will happen and as I said, I see the Pack being hungry in this one.  It's in a sense a Super Bowl for them the rest of the way this season for they are in one and done territory

It will bode well for Duke to get off to a good start in this game but the Wolfpack are aware of this too.  Duke blew them out a season ago before losing the Notre Dame and then going on to win the title. Duke has two more shots in tournaments and they will need to focus in on what they can  do well to offset the issue of depth and a suspect inside game.

We'll project Duke to win a close one, say 76-71 and advance to play Notre Dame on Thursday.

Happier times.

Grayson Allen 2nd Team All American

Happier times.
Happier times.

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke’s Grayson Allen added All-America honors to his decorated sophomore season on Mondaymorning, earning second-team recognition from USA Today.

Allen leads Duke and ranks fifth among major-conference players in scoring with an average of 21.5 points per game. His +17.1-point scoring improvement from a year ago is on pace to set a new ACC record for year-to-year scoring increase. He has scored in double figures 29 times in 31 games this season, including 16 20-point efforts and four games with more than 30 points.

He is currently on a steak of 20 consecutive games with double-figure points and was not held to fewer than 15 points in 18 regular-season ACC games this season.

Allen is shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, a team-high 42.3 percent from three-point range and 83.0 percent from the free throw line. He averages 4.5 rebounds to go along with team highs of 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. Allen is averaging 35.9 minutes per game this season, and has played 1,114 minutes through 31 games.

He ranks second in the ACC in scoring (21.5), fourth in three-point percentage (.423), fifth in three-pointers per game (2.39), sixth in free throw percentage (.830), eighth in field goal percentage (.475) and ninth in steals (1.29).

Allen is on pace to be just the ninth Duke player to lead the Blue Devils in both scoring and assists in the same season, as well as just the seventh Duke player to average better than 20 points per game and hand out 100 assists in a season.

Allen averages 6.8 free throw attempts per game this season and has scored 26.4 percent of his points this season from the free throw line, the highest percentage for a Duke leading scorer since Jim Spanarkel scored 31.1 percent of his points from the line during the 1977-78 season.

A psychology major from Jacksonville, Fla., Allen was honored as a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American on March 3 and was recently named to the All-ACC Academic Team for the second consecutive season. He has also been named a finalist for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, awarded to the National Player of the Year by the USBWA.

He was named a first-team All-ACC selection by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) on March 6, giving Duke a first-team all-league member for the 19th time in the last 20 seasons.

2016 USA Today All-Americans

First Team

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

Brice Johnson, North Carolina

Jakob Poeltl, Utah

Tyler Ulis, Kentucky

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State

Second Team

Grayson Allen, Duke

Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Perry Ellis, Kansas

Yogi Ferrell, Indiana

Jamal Murray, Kentucky

 

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Allen, Ingram Earn ACC Honors

cd749a58-08e5-41fa-9604-2458497ef73dGREENSBORO, N.C. – ACC Player of the Year Malcolm Brogdon of Virginia leads the 2015-16 Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA) postseason basketball awards and all-conference team announced on Sunday.
Brogdon, who was also voted the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, was named the overall ACC Player of the Year by 38 of the 51 ACSMA members casting ballots. The group also chose Duke’s Brandon Ingram as the ACC Freshman of the Year.
Miami’s Jim Larrañaga was voted the ACC Coach of the Year, while North Carolina junior Isaiah Hicks earns recognition as Sixth Man of the Year. Clemson junior Jaron Blossomgame was voted the ACC’s Most Improved Player.
Brogdon and North Carolina senior Brice Johnson are unanimous choices to the All-ACC first team. They are joined by NC State junior Anthony “Cat” Barber, Duke sophomore Grayson Allen and Clemson’s Blossomgame.
 
A redshirt senior from Atlanta, Brogdon led the Cavaliers to a 24-6 overall record, a 13-5 ACC mark and the No. 2 seed for this week’s New York Life ACC Tournament at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.  He enters the ACC Tournament as the league’s fourth-leading scorer at 18.4 points and ranks 10th in field goal percentage (.474).
Brogdon ranks second among ACC free-throw shooters (.878 percent) and made 42 consecutive from the foul line late in the season. He leads a Virginia defensive unit that has limited opponents to an ACC-low 59.6 points per game and ranks fourth in field goal percentage defense (.416 percent).
North Carolina’s Johnson leads the ACC in rebounding (10.8) and field goal percentage (.606) while ranking sixth in scoring at 16.8 points per game. He led the Tar Heels (25-6, 14-4 ACC) to the regular-season title with a league-leading 19 double-doubles (12 in ACC play) and has posted two games with more than 20 rebounds.
NC State’s Barber leads the conference in scoring at 23.4 points per game and has scored 30-or-more points an ACC-leading eight times this season. The junior guard also ranks among the conference leaders in assists (4.3) per game while pulling down 4.6 rebounds and playing a league-leading 38.7 minutes per game.
Duke’s Allen ranks second among ACC scorers with 21.5 points per game, fourth in 3-point shooting (.423 percent) and eighth in overall shooting from the floor (.475 percent).  He joins Virginia’s Brogdon and North Carolina’s Johnson as an Oscar Robertson Trophy finalist after scoring in double figures in 29 games (20 straight entering the ACC Tournament).
Clemson’s Blossomgame averages 18.6 points per game to rank third in the conference and has scored 20-or-more points in 15 games. Blossomgame’s big scoring nights have included games of 33 and 31 points. Blossomgame ranks among the ACC leaders in field goal percentage (.516) and is averaging 6.7 rebounds per game.
 
Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije (17.6 ppg, 4.5 apg) Miami’s Sheldon McClellan (15.7 ppg, .852 FT percentage), Notre Dame’s Demetrius Jackson (15.9 ppg, 4.97 apg), Louisville’s Damion Lee (15.7 ppg, .843 FT percentage) and Duke’s Ingram (16.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg) comprise the ACSMA All-ACC second team.
Georgia Tech’s Marcus Georges-Hunt (16.6 ppg, 18.1 ppg in ACC play), Virginia’s Anthony Gill (13.6 ppg, .556 FG percentage), Notre Dame’s Zach Auguste (14.5 ppg, 10.4 rpg), Pitt’s Michael Young (16.1 ppg, 54 percent shooting from the floor) and Miami’s Angel Rodriguez (11.6 ppg, 4.3 apg) earned third-team All-ACC honors in the ACSMA voting.
After being overwhelmingly chosen as the ACC preseason Freshman of the Year by the league’s media members last October, Duke’s Ingram lived up to his billing by ranking seventh among conference scorers (16.7 ppg) and 14th in rebounding (6.8) and ninth in blocked shots (1.42).  Ingram is the third consecutive Duke player and the fourth in the last five years to be recognized as ACSMA’s ACC Freshman of the Year.
Miami’s Larrañaga was chosen the ACC Coach of the Year for the second time in his five years with the Hurricanes. Miami (24-6 overall) shared second place in the final ACC standings and enters the ACC Tournament as the No. 3 seed. The Hurricanes went 9-0 in home conference games and were 5-2 against fellow ranked teams. Miami is currently ranked seventh nationally and has been ranked among the nation’s top 15 a school-record 12 weeks this season.
Hicks helped North Carolina to its regular-season first-place finish by averaging 9.2 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting .606 percent from the floor and .757 percent from the foul line. Hicks has come off of the bench in 28 of the Tar Heels’ 31 games while averaging 18.1 minutes.
Duke’s Ingram is joined on the All-ACC Freshman Team by Florida State’s Dwayne Bacon (15.8 ppg) and Malik Beasley (15.7 ppg), Syracuse’s Malachi Richardson (13.2 ppg) and Wake Forest’s Bryant Crawford (13.6 ppg).
Miami’s Tonye Jekiri, Syracuse’s Gbinije, Clemson’s Landry Nnoko and Louisville’s Chinanu Onuaku join Brogdon on the 2015-16 All-ACC Defensive Team.
2015-16 ACSMA All-ACC Teams
(First-place votes, followed by total points)
 
All-Atlantic Coast Conference
First Team
Brice Johnson, Sr., North Carolina      51      *255
Malcolm Brogdon, Sr., Virginia  51      *255
Cat Barber, Jr., NC State       48      249
Grayson Allen, So., Duke        47      247
Jaron Blossomgame, Jr., Clemson 32      213
Second Team
Michael Gbinije, Sr., Syracuse  8       155
Sheldon McClellan, Sr., Miami   6       136
Demetrius Jackson, Jr., Notre Dame      3       130
Brandon Ingram, Fr., Duke       4       129
Damion Lee, Sr., Louisville     1       90
 
Third Team
Marcus Georges-Hunt, Sr., Georgia Tech  -       76
Anthony Gill, Sr., Virginia     -       70
Zach Auguste, Sr., Notre Dame   -       45
Michael Young, Jr., Pittsburgh  -       37
Angel Rodriguez, Sr., Miami     3       35
Honorable Mention:
Justin Jackson, North Carolina; Tonye Jekiri, Miami; Zach LeDay, Virginia Tech; Chinanu Onuaku, Louisville; Marcus Paige, North Carolina; London Perrantes, Virginia; Devin Thomas, Wake Forest.
All-ACC Freshman Team
Brandon Ingram, Duke    *51
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State     50
Malik Beasley, Florida State    49
Malachi Richardson, Syracuse    34
Bryant Crawford, Wake Forest    28
All-ACC Defensive Team
Malcolm Brogdon, Sr., Virginia  49
Tonye Jekiri, Sr., Miami        39
Michael Gbinije, Sr., Syracuse  36
Landry Nnoko, Sr., Clemson      30
Chinanu Onuaku, So., Louisville 27
ACC Player of the Year
Malcolm Brogdon, Sr., Virginia  38
Brice Johnson, Sr., North Carolina      9
Cat Barber, Jr., NC State       3
Grayson Allen, So., Duke        1
ACC Freshman of the Year
Brandon Ingram, Duke    48
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State     1
Malik Beasley, Florida State    1
Malachi Richardson, Syracuse    1
ACC Coach of the Year
Jim Larrañaga, Miami    24
Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech    22
Tony Bennett, Virginia  2
Roy Williams, North Carolina    1
Brad Brownell, Clemson  1
Brian Gregory, Georgia Tech     1
ACC Defensive Player of the Year
Malcolm Brogdon, Sr., Virginia  39
Tonye Jekiri, Sr., Miami        9
Michael Gbinije, Sr., Syracuse  1
Marshall Plumlee, Sr., Duke     1
Chinanu Onuaku, So., Louisville 1
ACC Most Improved Player of the Year
Jaron Blossomgame, Jr., Clemson 21
Grayson Allen, So., Duke        15
Cat Barber, Jr., NC State       4
Zach LeDay, Jr., Virginia Tech  4
Ja'Quan Newton, So., Miami      2
Joel Berry, So., North Carolina 2
Marcus Georges-Hunt, Sr., Georgia Tech  1
Dennis Clifford, Sr., Boston College    1
Chinanu Onuaku, So., Louisville 1
 
ACC Sixth Man of the Year
Isaiah Hicks, Jr., North Carolina       19
Ja'Quan Newton, So., Miami      12
Luke Kennard, Fr., Duke 7
Tyler Lydon, Fr., Syracuse      6
Devon Bookert, Sr., Florida State       6
Sheldon Jeter, Jr., Pittsburgh  1
 
* Unanimous selection
AMile vs Kentucky

Amile Jefferson Will Seek Redshirt

AMile vs KentuckyDuke and Amile Jefferson will apply for a medical redshirt this season.  If it comes through, which it should, he will provide much leaded leadership next season.

Official Release -  Duke senior forward Amile Jefferson will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season. Team doctors have determined that he will not be able to return due to a right foot fracture sustained in December.

Jefferson missed all but nine games this season due to the injury. In those nine games, he averaged 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds.

Duke will seek a medical hardship waiver on Jefferson’s behalf in anticipation that he will be eligible for the 2016-17 season.

 

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UNC at Duke Thoughts & Preview

a70c2d67-f634-4c6e-bd3f-502c5dcf1024It wasn't that long ago that Duke showed the heart of a lion in their exciting win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  Now, the Blue Devils face the Tar Heels again and not much has changed since then in the way of personnel.  Once again, Duke will likely be short handed without senior captain Amile Jefferson and once again, they come into the game an underdog.

I shouldn't have to tell you that North Carolina will be hell-bent on revenge, determined to win this game for many reasons.  Much has been made in the media this week abour how badly Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson want to go out with a win over Duke today.  Not only that, the Tar Heels can win the regular season outright today with a victory and avoid a regular season sweep.

Let's face it, in that it is hard to beat a good team twice and that will be the task for Duke today,  In Chapel Hill, Duke wouldn't go away and shocked the Tar Heels winning the game where adversity had been dealt to them in a major way.  That kind of loss can stick with you and so focus will not be an issue for North Carolina in Cameron this evening,

They will literally try to ram the ball into the paint at will in an effort to get Marshall Plumlee in foul trouble and if that happens, it could be a long night for the Blue Devils.  Duke will seek to counter by making their three point shots and getting free for them.  But the Blue Devils have not been shooting well of late which has been a concern to Mike Krzyzewski.

And the win is just as important for Duke in this one, for a victory means a double bye in the ACC Tournament.  With the lack of depth the Blue Devils have this season, any and all rest is of the utmost importance for this team.

Since its win over North Carolina, Duke has forged a new identity and they've vaulted back into the nation's top 25.  For Duke to be successful this evening, the key player may very well be their freshman from Kinston, North Carolina -- Brandon Ingram.

One of the things Krzyzewski said in his press conference this week was that the long and sleek freshman needed to finish better.  If he is able to take another step in the process of becoming the incredible player he will one day be in the NBA while in Durham, that would bode well for the Blue Devils.

Another thing Duke must do today is to some how, some way, avoid all the hype.  It's Senior Day and that brings with it emotions.  Plumlee has to not try to do too much too soon and instead pace himself for what will be a battle royal.  And the Duke players must also try to avoid the hype from ESPN Game Day being on campus and recording their every move.

Magic rarely strikes twice as it did in Chapel Hill and that means the Blue Devils will have to show guts this time where they showed heart in the last outing.  This is a huge challenge for the Blue Devils against one of the most talented and experienced teams in the nation that will bring their A plus game to Coach K Court.

The solution for Duke to win is similar as it was before,  That being, keep yourself in position to win, avoid foul trouble, get to the line and knock down your threes.    The Cameron Crazies will be of the utmost importance today as well for there will be more than once occasion when the team needs a lift.

Win or lose, this has been a good season for Duke which has had more than their share of controversy and bad breaks.  No matter the outcome, Duke Basketball continues to be in a good place.  This has been  very likable team that has played together and given it their all.  From Grayson Allen to Matt Jones, they've been a fun group to follow.

A lot of times when these two college basketball behemoths take to the court, you can throw conventional wisdom out of the equation. That will not change tonight and that's why so many people tune into this game. It is that one match up where time seems to slow to a crawl and every single play brings out emotion as if it matters, for it does.  It's intense, it is uplifting, it is deflating.  It's the best rivalry in all of sports.

Throw the ball up already, and let's begin.

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Jack White Commits to Duke

The Dimages (4)uke Blue Devils have added Aussie, Jack White to their 2016 class.  White is a 6-6, 220 pound wing player who has until this point played his basketball career in Australia.

Jack White selects Duke
Jack White selects Duke

The White family informed Duke Coach Mike Krzzyewski of his decision on Thursday.  White will now learn future skills at the highest level of college basketball.

White played for his Australia National team in the FIBA U19 World Championship last year, averaging 8.3 points and 3.9 rebounds.

White is currently enrolled at the Basketball Australia Center of Excellence in Canberra where he is expected to remain until he matriculates to Duke in June.

During his visit to Duke, White was able to meet the players and staff, see the campus and check out the Blue Devils state of the art basketball facilities.  He also started to form what will become key relationships in his future basketball endeavors.

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He joins a recruiting class that features Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Javin DeLaurier and Franks Jackson.  Duke is still recruiting Marques Bolden as well.  Bolden recently said he would be making his decision within a month.